My Huffington readers well know that I attend a great many food events in the course of a year....but I've never made a secret of the fact that my favorite is an annual September event called L.A. LOVES ALEX'S LEMONADE, a pediatric cancer charity founded by a little girl named Alexandra "Alex" Scott who had cancer. This year the event will be held at UCLA's Wilson Plaza on Saturday, September 20th, from 12 pm to 4 pm.
It may seem odd to describe a charity food event with the word 'loverly,' but if Julie Andrews could use it in "My Fair Lady" it's okay for me to use. That's the word which pops into my mind when I think of this event, which features extraordinary food for a great cause. You see, we have 40+ great, famous chefs who fly in from all over the country to serve up special dishes for those of us attending. This local event was started by Chef Suzanne Goin and Manager Caroline Styne of Lucques, along with Suzanne's husband, David Lentz of The Hungry Cat. This will be the fifth one they have held and I can guarantee it will be wonderful! Going from past experience, it will feature some of the best, most extraordinary food ever encountered at a charity fundraiser.
Last year I remember that a Seattle chef served truffled beef cheeks and sweetbread croquettes with a celery root salad. David Lentz will repeat his iced Fruits of the Sea booth, with Santa Barbara uni as a centerfold. I recall Giada DeLaurentiis handing me her grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and chocolate, which was tastier than it sounds. Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill will be back, and I hope that those two Philly chefs return with their mortadella hot dogs with spicy pickles. As always, the wonderful people from Pink's will be here with their juicy hot dogs. The wine and spirits offerings will be enormous, so I may well take UBER there and back from my Beverly Hills abode. The very gracious publicity maven Jannis Swerman told me that this is actually a decadent's chefs cookout, with so many celebrated chefs coming and serving dishes which they would never offer otherwise. "The cause of childen's cancer research makes all the difference," she added. I agreed.
Some of the chefs attending this year are: John Besh from New Orleans, Chris Bianco from Phoenix with his legendary Pizza Bianco, Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ, Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted, Scarpetta's Scott Conant, Giada, of course, Neal Fraser of the new Redbird, Fig's Ray Garcia, Ludo LeFebvre of Trois Mec, Matt Molina of Mozza, Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry, Steve Samson of Sotto, Ink's Michael Voltaggio, and dozens more...the best chefs in the nation at this one special event. Tickets are $195, and tables of ten are available.
You may recall the background of this story, the little four-year old girl battling cancer who opened a lemonade stand on her front lawn..and made over $2,000 to help other kids. It turned into an annual event and then was picked up by other children all over the country. Alex died at the age of eight, but by then it was an established event. Jannis told me that they have raised over $80 million thus far toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding cures, funding over 450 research projects nationally. Last year Jimmy Kimmel hosted the presentations, introducing many of the companies who sponsor the day. This year will be full of wonderful surprises, so I look forward to seeing you there. Go to L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade webpage to buy tickets or make a donation.
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